As a criminal defense lawyer of 32 years standing, I am here to say the actions of the Judge, in this case, were an assault on our Constitution and more of a threat to our democracy than the so-called actions of these men. The Judge limited cross-examination to an inexplicable time frame (the defense was allowed to cross-examine in the time period the prosecution used on direct). Conspiracies involving federal agents are complex and the reasons to doubt are bigger that the neat and erroneous package the government puts together in its case in chief. Second, the Court precluded the defense from calling witnesses. Enshrined in the 5th A, is the absolute right for the accused to present a defense. Last, there was a seriously suspect juror on the panel and the Court precluded the defense from being present as the court conducted its inquiry. Even the air of impropriety is enough to toss the juror. There was an alternate there, who heard the testimony. I am reminded the SCOTUS has instructed lower courts, that the law leans heavily to protect the accused’s rights. My money is on a reversal of the egregious actions of the trial court
And before, I hear but but but criminal. No, the Constitution protects all of us, regardless of accusations. We celebrate our judicial system. One where convictions are obtained free of improper judicial interference.
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